Tales of the Congaree

By Edward C. L. Adams; Robert G. O'Meally | Go to book overview

The Rattlesnake

Tad: Spencer, is you hear 'bout dat big rattlesnake back in slavery-time?

Spencer: I ain't know what you talk 'bout, Tad?

Tad: You know de white folks had a chile, a little chile, 'bout four or five years old, an' ever day at dinner time, 'fore dinner was over, dat chile take he dinner an' go out de house an' set down on a pile of rock out in de yard. He do it ever day, an' one day dere was a ole Uncle July say he curious, an' he watch dat chile, an' he say he see de chile go out in de yard an' climb up on pile of rock, an' he see de chile take a piece of bread in he han' an' put in he mout' an' bite it, den put it down side him an' rub an' pat, jist like he rubbin' an' pattin' somethin'. Ole man July he say he get a little closer an' he seen a rattle-snake come out of a hole in de rock an' he put he head up dat high,-- stick he head out 'bout a foot, just sway back an' forth, an' he head been wide as a man han', an' rusty, an' he little eye been shinin' an' he poke he tongue out, jist lick it out, and the chile put another piece of bread in he mout', an' bite it, den he put he han' back down 'side of him, an' dat snake done take it and eat it out of he han'. An Ole July said he so scared he mighty nigh faint, lookin' at dat chile an' at dat snake. An' he went in de house an' tell de people in de house 'bout it an' fore dey got out dere dat snake done gone an' de chile settin' dere on the rocks by hisself.

-14-

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Tales of the Congaree
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction Masks of Edward C. L. Adams xi
  • Notes lxv
  • Congaree Sketches 1
  • Contents 3
  • The Big Swamps of the Congaree 5
  • The Hopkins Nigger 6
  • Jonas 8
  • A Freshet on the Congaree 9
  • Hell Fire 11
  • The Rattlesnake 14
  • Sunning on the Golden Stairs 15
  • Judge Foolbird 16
  • Old Sister 17
  • Old Sister's Friends 20
  • Old Sister in Heaven 23
  • Old Sister in Hell 26
  • The Settin' Up 29
  • The Little Old Man on the Gray Mule 30
  • The Lake of the Dead 32
  • Aunt Dinah's Cat 34
  • Murder Vs. Liquor 35
  • Old Dictodemus 37
  • Fragment of a Negro Sermon 42
  • His Day is Done 45
  • Ole Man Rogan 48
  • Big Charleston 50
  • The Yellow Crane 53
  • White Folks is White Folks 56
  • Wild Goose Nest 58
  • Transmigration 60
  • Belton's Spirit 62
  • The Animal Court 63
  • Ole Man Tooga's Chile (a Tale of the Chain Gang) 65
  • Fine My Chile 68
  • The Falling Star 70
  • Jay-Birds 71
  • Jack-Ma-Lantern 72
  • Ole Man Rouse 74
  • If You Want to Find Jesus 76
  • The Ghosts of Elm Savannah 78
  • The Crow 79
  • Primus 80
  • Jumping-Gut 81
  • Cazenova 83
  • Spirit Dogs and Barking Snakes 84
  • Death Owl 85
  • De Law Got Simon 86
  • A Fool Nigger 88
  • The Two Ducks 89
  • The Mule and the Ox 90
  • That Quart Kept on Beckoning Me 91
  • Don't 'sturb a Houn' 93
  • Don't You Play Wid Married Wimmens 94
  • Tad's Advice to His Son 95
  • Old Sister's Advice to Her Daughter 97
  • Jesus Had Trouble All Over the World 99
  • Nigger to Nigger 103
  • Contents 105
  • Foreword 109
  • The Swamps 111
  • Nigger to Nigger 131
  • White Folks 179
  • Ghosts and Angels 219
  • Bur Rabbit 233
  • Preachers 257
  • Slavery Time 275
  • Funerals 287
  • Glossary 303
  • Appendixes 313
  • Act I 329
  • Act II 357
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